Kingstonian v Cray Wanderers –  Isthmian Premier – Saturday 3rd December, Match Report


Kingstonian                                0

Cray Wanderers                          1

Wood 18

Cray Wanderers continued their good run of away form with a narrow victory at Kingstonian courtesy of Sam Wood’s header to make it six without defeat on the road and moved the Wands up to 8th in the Isthmian Premier table.  

The goal came in the 18th minute when Wood scored with a well placed header from Dan Bassett’s cross which proved decisive in a game of few chances.  Tom Derry saw a deflected shot pushed out by Rob Tolfrey earlier in the first half and after the break, Anthony Cook and Bassett came close to scoring.  Kingstonian came close through Corey Parchment, Kieron Cadogan and in the second half, Jacob Bancroft, Michael Abnett and Josh Ogunseye but were unable to find a goal despite ten minutes of added on time.

On a grey and cold afternoon at Imperial Fields, both sides have gained points from draws on a few occasions with Kingstonian playing well at home and Cray well away and it did seem beforehand that it may be a game with few goals.

The Wands had just come up short on Wednesday night in the London Senior Cup at Dulwich Hamlet and into the side from the match came Sam Wood, Anthony Cook, Dan Bassett and ex-Kingstonian striker Tom Derry for Nyren Clunis who played for the K’s last season, Sam Skeffington, Mitch Chapman and Michael Ademliuyi. On the bench for the Wands was new dual registration signing Omari Hibbert who scored for Hamlet on Wednesday. 

Kingstonian had beaten Corinthian Casuals in the Surrey Senior Cup on Wednesday and there were three changes to their side with Dwight Pascal, Sean Bonnett-Johnson and Jacob Bancroft for Isaiah Jones, Kweis Ntim and Nodirbek Bobomurodov and had a former Wand, Lee Lewis in their lineup.

Cray as with many of the away games this season started on the front foot and won a corner in the opening minute but Kingstonian had the first real incisive moment when down the left Corey Parchment’s left wing cross towards the far post to Bancroft who fired across goal and wide.

The Wands came close in the 9th minute when Yahaya Bamba down the right set up Derry for a shot which may have taken a slight nick off a defender and Rob Tolfrey did well to turn the ball aside.

For Kingstonian from a free kick down the right, Parchment fired in a shot which was well claimed by Shaun Rowley.

The goal which would ultimately prove decisive came in the 18th minute and from a break, Ben Krauhaus found Bassett down the left and his accurate cross towards the far post was met by a fine header from Sam Wood and the ball crashed into the top left stanchion for his third goal of the season.

The cherry red and white shirted Kingstonian side pushed forward to try and get back into the match and had a good spell of pressure which led to corners and one or two moments of concern but the central defensive pairing of Jalen Jones and Sinn’kaye Christie were resolute.

The nearest Kingstonian came was from a good cross from Michael Abnett down the right which came to Kieron Cadogan on the volley but was deflected behind for a corner.

Cray were just struggling to get the ball forward after the goal but did threaten a second a couple of minutes before half time but Bamba down the right fired well wide and into the terrace behind the goal.

HT:  0-1

The Wands made a change at half time with Sam Skeffington on for Krauhaus and as in the first half, Cray started well and won an early corner.  From the corner, the ball eventually came to Skeffington who shot over the top.

For Kingstonian, down the left, Parchment found Dwight Pascal whose looping cross landed on the roof of the net.

The Wands were looking a bit sharper in attack and Skeffington, Bassett and Cook combined to find Jephte Tanga and his cross came to Cook who shot over the bar.

Kingstonian almost got back into the game when down the right, Abnett’s cross towards the far post just missed the stretch of Rowley and Bancroft flicked a header wide of goal.

Omari Hibbert came on for his Wands debut as substitute for Derry, twenty minutes into the second half and Cray came close to a second when from a free kick down the left, Cook’s ball into the box was turned over the bar by Tolfrey.

There was concern for the K’s when Parchment went down with injury in midfield and had to be stretchered off and was replaced by Nodirbek Bobomurodov.

Shortly after, Jack Strange from distance saw a shot deflected behind for a corner and then came close again when another Abnett cross was headed wide by Declan Skura.

Then, Sean Bonnett-Johnson found Pascal whose shot was pushed out by Rowley and from a cross from the left to the far post was turned wide Josh Ogunseye.  Pascal also had to leave the field with injury and was carried off the field and replaced by Isaiah Jones.  For Cray, Nyren Clunis came on for Wood.

Due to the injuries there were ten minutes additional time added on which led to some nerves amongst the Wands faithful.  Cray though did well in the added time and Hibbert down the right picked up the ball and strode towards the area, found Skeffington who in turn set up Bassett who shot wide of the right post.

Then Christie found Clunis down the right and his ball across for Cook at the far post was put behind for a corner.  Then a Hibbert cross had no takers in the box but the time ran out on the hosts and the Wands picked up the three points which moved them up to 8th on 29 points, just seven shy of last season’s end total.  Also the clean sheet was the sixth of the season.

Cray hadn’t been at their best and probably have played better elsewhere away from home and not won but these hard fought, sometimes edgy wins can help the side’s team spirit and there was a determination about the team which helped them over the line.

The Wands five game away tour concludes on Wednesday night with a trip to Bognor Regis Town, a side Cray have played three times already this season and will be a good test before a couple of December home games with Haringey Borough and Billericay Town to come.

Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Declan Skura, Dwight Pascal (Isaiah Jones, 87), Jack Strange, Michael Abnett, Tyrese Owen, Sean Bonnett-Johnson, Lee Lewis, Kieron Cadogan, Jacob Bancroft (Joshua Ogunseye, 57), Corey Parchment (Nodirbek Bobomurodov, 74):  Subs: Kwesi Ntim, O’Shane Stewart

Booked: Owen

Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Jephte Tanga, Jalen Jones, Sinn’kaye Christie, Harrison Sodje, Sam Wood (Nyren Clunis, 83), Yahaya Bamba, Anthony Cook, Ben Krauhaus (Sam Skeffington, H/T), Danny Bassett, Tom Derry (Omari Hibbert, 64): Subs: Michael Ademiluyi, Cerny Ando 

Booked: Sodje, Tanga, Wood, Cook

Referee: Mark Pond 

Assistants: Ben Maskery, Ahmad Rafique


Att: 205